While there are a MULTITUDE of things, specifically in the fashion industry, that we can get upset over... the use of 'punk dreadlocks' in a 'rave' themed runway show doesn't immediately seem to be at the top of the list, does it? However, once Marc Jacobs was called out for 'appropriating' a hairstyle it was his misguided response that sent some fans overboard.
It started off cool... Marc Jacobs included an array of models across the cultural spectrum down his runway, and he didn't attempt to push the styling on us as 'new' or 'Columbus' the idea of dreads. So, most of us ignored the giant yarn buns. And let's admit it... Non-WOC (Women of Color) have been rocking dreads for decades. With the artistic reference for the show being club kids and ravers, thematically, the presentation honed in on the subculture.
Although it should be noted that this community took dreads from white counter-culture, hippie, Rastafarian (trustafarian) culture...who completely took that from Black Rastafarians. BUT, it's a fashion show and the history lessons are rarely provided.
When folks initially started angry tweeting, it was because neither the hairstylist, Guido Palau, nor Jacobs, mentioned black culture or Rastafarians specifically as a source of inspiration. Instead, they mentioned street style, director Lana Wachowski, punk, Boy George and an enormous mishmash of cultural references. But, guess what... those references are legitimate and real. And, "outrage culture" especially when it comes to appropriation does need to chill sometimes.
But in the age of social media one should expect to be called out. And when that inevitable moment arrives, you best be prepared to have an educated response. THIS is where is starts going wrong for Marc Jacobs....
“Funny how you don’t criticize women of color for straightening their hair” the designer said in response to the backlash.
The real problem here is in the ignorant and flippant tone. That ignorance is then exacerbated by #1- speaking on behalf of women, especially those of color... when he is neither a woman or of color. As complex wrote "the widespread adaptation of straightened hair in the black community is something that has been forced upon the community due to beauty ideals based on white archetypes. And it’s very much an issue today: In 2014, the American government caved to criticism of its military uniform standards that demanded black women adhere to standards other than the natural styles some had grown accustomed to. Those standards preferred straightened hair." And it just keeps going from there.
So next time you want to 'Clapback' please make sure you study up on the culture you are observing before you go insulting people (people, who actually once loved you!). Where do you stand on this issue? Tweet me @cruziiie.